Aches and Pains

My body hurts all over. I feel like I have bruised a rib, torn my hamstring, injured my calves, separated my pectoral muscles, and anything else that will give you an idea of what body pain is, I have it. Remove a little exaggeration here and there, and you still have an idea of what I am going through.

I played my first basketball game since a year or so ago yesterday. I was not planning on playing ever again, but one of my original teammates is rendering his final days with the company, and he wanted to play one last game with us. The result is underwhelming, at least for me, and painful too.

I let my youngest brother tag along, and he could have ran circles around us if only he used a better pair of shoes. His did not have enough traction, so he wasn’t able to play too well. He still destroyed us though.

Now, aside from the body pains, seeing my youngest brother play the way that I have always hoped to play reminded me of why I stopped playing in the first place. I have lost a step, or maybe all of my steps when it comes to the sport. Basketball has never been good to me, and as time passes by, it just keeps on being a bitch.

The first five minutes was great. I was running as fast as I have, and getting the ball was a cinch. A swipe here, and we have a fast break. I scored the first two baskets with ease. Then the old man syndrome arrived. I wheezed all the way to the other end of the court, hoping not to vomit. I looked at the clock, and we still had two hours left.

The only good news is that we have two new teammates, who are playing in the Philippine Basketball Association (the country’s only pro league) Developmental League, so we have a real chance of getting to the championship round this year. Unfortunately for me, I will not be able to play with these guys since my wife’s due date will be on the same month as our Sports Fest.

This maybe what almost every parent felt like, or even older people, with or without a kid. Seeing your dreams destroyed by reality, and abruptly stopped by life. I have a boy coming in a few months, Alpha, and I am looking forward to supporting his hopes and dreams. I am just afraid that I may try to force him to achieve whatever I haven’t, since admittedly, I still dream of being a baller.

I still literally dream of playing in a crowd of thousands, with the clock running down to almost zero, and with the ball in my hands. The score tied, and the season hanging in the balance.

This is more painful than the physical pain. The what ifs, the should have-could have-would haves, and the I know I could have been. 

The D-Leaguers want to start formal practice, with real pro drills and coaches, next week. I am thinking of joining, with the hopes of resurrecting my dead career, but I am also thinking of following through on my “retirement” plans. If I join, it will be the first time that I will have someone teach me how to play, and it maybe the only time that I will be able to work with a pro. Maybe if I get back in shape. Maybe it will get me back in shape.

Or maybe I’ll just wait for Alpha, and let my kid play.

Who knows?


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